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Go Canucks Go

If you’re a Canuck fan, you come to expect the worst

From losing Gilbert Perrault on the flip of a coin when joining the league in 1970, Trevor Linden ringing one off the post in overtime against the New York Rangers in 1994, to Dan Cloutier letting one in from the redline against Detroit, to Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punching Steve Moore, to the meltdown against Chicago a few seasons back to the recent doldrums, the team always seems to be so very close to greatness only to have it slip away.

Snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

But this year is different. We hope. The Canucks are, undoubtedly, the best team in the league. When they want to dominate, they can dominate. And when they stink out the place, well, they’re the best in the league at doing that as well.

This year, though, they’ve got the talent and the drive to battle back. They did it against Nashville. They can do it against Edmonton.I’m not entirely sure what happened.

I’ve been doing what I need to do to help the Canucks win. In 1982, I was living in Vancouver. They got swept in the four-straight against the Islanders in the final. I did get to the final game of the season that year, not because I thought the Canucks were going to final, but because I wanted to see hall-of-famer Marcel Dionne play. The Los Angeles Kings, however, were resting him for the playoffs and he only took a couple of face-offs all game.

It was a good time to be in Vancouver though, as the city was solidly behind the team. The support then, though, is nothing like it is this time around. The amount of people coming out to watch games on big screens is astounding. Of course, in 1982, a 26-inch Panasonic was considered a big screen. You can get a better picture on your iPhone today.

In 1994, I was living in Williams Lake and had a doctor’s appointment in Vancouver the day after Game 7 against the Rangers. We had to listen to the game on the radio on the way down. With radio reception fading as we headed into the Fraser Canyon, we stopped and watched the end of the game at a bar in Spences Bridge.

Disappointed at the Rangers’ triumph, we continued our journey. Since we had spent an hour or two watching the end of the game, it was late when we rolled into the Lower Mainland. Instead of rolling all the way downtown, where my appointment was the next day, we decided to stay in Abbotsford.

Good call

It was a bit of a shock to flip on the television in the hotel room to live coverage of the riots in downtown Vancouver that, had we kept going, would have driven right into.

So, there you have it. When I was in Vancouver for the finals, the Canucks got swept. When I didn’t live there, but threatened to come to town during the final game, they lost Game 7. In  2011, I didn’t go near Vancouver. However, it resulted in another Game 7 heartbreak against Boston (whom we still hate BTW). It’s too bad the Leafs came up short in OT on Saturday. It must have been not having the right shirt on.

This year I’m not even thinking about the finals … yet. Edmonton comes first. I’ll be hunkered down in my lucky spot, wearing my lucky shirt, and cheering loudly enough to scare the cat. I’m closer to Edmonton than I am to Vancouver, so that should tip the scales.

Go Canucks Go.

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